NFL 2019 (Week 8): Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs

Russell S. Baxter

NFL 2019 (Week 8): Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs

By Jesse Pierson

Special to Pro Football Guru

A few weeks ago, the thought of division-leading Green Bay at division-leading Kansas City on a Sunday night would have driven football fans wild. The game still has high appeal and heavy implications, but the absence of Patrick Mahomes definitely removed some luster. Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers have so far combined to throw for 4,199 yards, 28 touchdowns and only three interceptions. These are arguably the two best quarterbacks in all of football, but we fans will have to make do with only Rodgers on Sunday. Sorry, Matt Moore. Mahomes has already returned to practice after dislocating his kneecap, but he is not quite ready to come back to game action. In his stead, expect a steady dose of runs, jet sweeps, perimeter screens, and trick plays to get the ball out of Moore’s hands and quickly into those of Kansas City’s many playmakers. Unpredictability will be Andy Reid’s best friend against Green Bay’s stout defense.

Packers: Rodgers will likely be without his favorite target, receiver Davante Adams, for the fourth straight game while suffering from a pesky toe injury. Even so, the Packers have gone 3-0 without him and look as dangerous on offense as ever. And while their defense has regressed from the top form of their first few games, they must feel pretty good about their ability to handcuff a Mahomes-less Chiefs offense. They will feel even better if linebacker Blake Martinez and safety Darnell Savage suit up despite their “questionable” labels. Green Bay is +6 in turnover margin, which is tied for third-best in the league. If they can force Moore into a few poor decisions, that may prove to be the difference. That Kansas City is also without starting left guard Andrew Wylie is further music to defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s ears.

Chiefs: Mahomes aside, the injury bug has bitten Kansas City hard. Wylie, offensive tackle Eric Fisher, defensive tackle Chris Jones, defensive ends Frank Clark and Tim Ward, linebacker Darius Harris and cornerback Kendall Fuller have all been ruled out. Those of you who can perform quick mental math know that this leaves the Chiefs with only 45 players to dress, one less than the NFL’s game day roster size of 46. To look on the bright side, both Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins are back from their earlier injury woes and All Pro tight end Travis Kelce is still around, too. Matt Moore has been around the block a time or two in his career, and Reid trusts him enough to have not made a move at quarterback after Mahomes went down. After all, this team put up 30 points to stifle a hostile Mile High crowd in a win over Denver 10 days ago. Moore’s numbers in that game (10-of-19 for 117 yards and 1 touchdown) were pedestrian, but fans know that a lot of backups have played a lot worse than that in the past. All he has to do is not lose them the game. This is still one of the AFC’s best teams.

Prediction: Rodgers and the Packers have all of the odds in their favor coming into this one, but they lay an inexplicable egg and hand Kansas City a win.

Kansas City Chiefs 23, Green Bay Packers 16

Jesse Pierson (@jessetpierson) is a former teacher and high school football coach who has written about the Colts for over a decade. He loves football, dogs, food, and comedy, and you can follow his work on his Facebook page, Jesse Pierson, Mediocre Writer.


NFL 2019